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5 p.m. Thursday update: Big loss in UM recruiting but some good news, too; Heat; Martin fallout

5 p.m. update: UM got mixed news on the recruiting front today, with National Signing Day less than a week away.

The good news: Brad Kaaya, rated the No. 8 quarterback in the country by rivals.com, removed any doubt about his intentions by announcing on Twitter that he's signing with UM next Wednesday.

The bad news: Michael Wyche, a key defensive tackle commitment in this class, announced on Twitter that he's decommitting from Miami because of an obscure ACC rule that requires players be enrolled three semesters at the same junior college.

Wyche, who was enrolled for only two semesters at East Los Angeles Junior College, had appealed the ruling, but apparently unsuccessfully. Wyche could have stayed committed to UM and enrolled here in May but apparently has chosen not to, at least at this point.

Wyche tweeted: "Due ACC rule I am opening up my commitment and decommitting... from the University of Miami."

Wyche did not immediately respond to a request for comment. His coach said previously that he might not want to stay a third semester at a junior college.

UM people expected Wyche to be a major contributor next season. One UM official thought he would have been the best defensive tackle on last year's team if he had been a member of the Canes.

With Travonte Valentine leaning toward LSU but not completely ruling out UM, the Hurricanes are left with three commitments among defensive tackles: four-star Anthony Moten, three-star junior college transfer Calvin Heurteleu and three-star prospect Courtel Jenkins. Heurteleu is already enrolled here.

This weekend, UM also is expected to host Lamont Gaillard, a three-star defensive tackle from North Carolina. But Gaillard is orally committed to Georgia.



Notes on a late Wednesday night:

### Four-star Hialeah Champagnat defensive tackle Travonte Valentine, whom UM covets, told me today he’s not sure he will take his scheduled visit to UM this weekend because of a “family situation.”

Valentine said he will make a decision on Thursday.

Is LSU still the favorite? “Something like that,” he said.

But he said he will consider UM whether he visits this weekend or not. He met with Al Golden earlier this week. But LSU is in the lead for the highest-rated defensive tackle in South Florida.

### Few other recruiting notes: Four-star Booker T. Washington defensive end Demetrius Jackson announced on Twitter tonight that he will sign his Letter of Intent with UM on Thursday. Then he realized he cannot do that just yet, and clarified that he will sign it next Wednesday, on National Signing Day.

Earlier in the day, Rivals.com quoted Jackson’s coach as saying Jackson would visit Texas this weekend. But Jackson tweeted that he will not visit Texas.... Chaminade (Cal.) High coach Ed Croson told me receiver Brayden Lenius has decided to visit Washington instead of UM this weekend but hasn't completely ruled out UM. South Dade receiver CJ Worton is a UM target.

### UM offensive coordinator James Coley, and his Twitter feed, have boundless energy. “This is survival of the fittest! Wouldn’t have it any other way --- Miami!!!!”…

And: “Stick your hand out the window – feel the FORCE!!!”…

And: “CHANGE just walked in and kicked your front door OPEN.” And, well, you get the picture.

### Jonathan Martin’s interview with Tony Dungy today was disappointing in many regards, largely because of Martin’s unwillingness to offer details and Dungy’s reluctance to ask key questions.

Dungy never asked Martin who harassed him besides Richie Incognito, or who viciously attacked him, or whether he ever stood up to Incognito.

And Martin seemed excessively cautious and scripted and less than convincing at times.

He offered no details about the nature of his harassment beyond saying they were of a “racial nature” and included “sexual comments” about his sister and mother. Everybody knew that already.

Dungy asked Martin three times if he was friends with Incognito. Martin would not answer directly, saying only: “I wanted to be his friend. I was working to be his friend. But it’s a hard situation. I did everything I could. I didn’t know what else I could do.”

Does he have any regrets? Martin wouldn’t say. “Hindsight is 20/20,” he said. “It’s easy to nitpick. I’m focused on moving forward.”

Did he check in the hospital after fleeing from the Dolphins? Martin wouldn't say: “I don’t think that’s important.”

He said he “had to get myself healthy” but refused to say what was wrong with him.

Martin seemed most concerned with trying to sell himself to NFL teams, to convince them that he’s worth taking a shot on. “I know I would fit in any NFL locker-room,” he insisted. “I’m as physical and dedicated a competitor as anyone you’ll find. Teammates will say I’m a great locker-room guy. I’m a leader! Being a leader is part of who I am.”

He volunteered that he “loves” hostile road environments and “fans yelling obscenities at you.” Good to know!

Asked about pro-Incognito, anti-Martin reaction among players in the Dolphins’ locker-room, he said: “Everyone can have their own opinion. They may not have had all the facts.”

No final judgments should be made before Ted Wells’ report is released in February, and there should be a fair share of compassion for Martin if Wells concludes he was a blameless victim here.

But Martin should realize there will be skepticism because he didn’t tell Joe Philbin about the bullying and because he gave no indication that he told Incognito to stop.

“I never intended to be a crusader against the culture in the NFL,’ he said.

For a response from Richie Incognito's attorney, please see our story on The Herald's home page this morning.

### Smart move by OKC coach Scott Brooks to go with a small lineup against the Heat after falling behind by 13 points with Kendrick Perkins to start the game. Down by 18 in the first quarter, OKC spread the floor, Kevin Durant again went nuts (33 points, his 12th straight 30-point game) and the Heat lost at home for only the fourth time this season, this one by a 112-95 count.

By the way, Durant scored 23 points on 9 for 17 shooting when guarded by LeBron James. "We played well all the way until the second quarter," LeBron cracked.

OKC was 16 for 27 on threes, the Heat 3 for 19. And the Heat’s 21 turnovers (its second-most this season) were costly --– including five by Mario Chalmers, four by Dwyane Wade. "Our plan was to protect the paint, and they made us pay by hitting 16 threes," Wade said. ... The Heat was outscored by 24 in Ray Allen’s 31 minutes.

“They out-competed us,” Erik Spoelstra said. “That’s what’s disappointing. They shot the heck out of the ball. Our offense got us in trouble quite a bit tonight. We have some work to do, like everybody else in the league.”

### UM went on a 10-0 late run to tie Wednesday's game against Maryland at 71, before losing 74-71 on a three-pointer with 3.5 seconds left. Maryland then fouled Manu Lecomte, who missed a free throw, then intentionally missed a second. But UM couldn't get a three-point attempt and fell to 10-10 (2-6 in the ACC) despite 25 points by Rion Brown and 19 from Lecomte.

### Quick note on a local charity event, for those with the time or the interest: Former Dolphins receiver Chris Chambers will raise money for student scholarships at his annual celebrity bowling tournament at 8 p.m. Thursday night at Lucky Strikes on South Beach.

Cost: $25, including entry into the event & one drink ticket. Or you can pay $50 for entry, two drink tickets, a sponsor bag and a one-week membership to Chamber Fitness.

Among those expected: Chambers, O.J. McDuffie, Channing Crowder, hip-hop artist Rick Ross and others.

### Please see the last post for a bunch of other developments updated throughout the day Wednesday... Twitter: @flasportsbuzz


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AZ Cane

It seems there's one 4- or 5-star every year who decommits from UM and creates a drama show. Alex Collins. Bryce Brown. Matt Patchan (8 starts in 3 years at UF before transferring). Willie Williams. The Drama Queens rarely pan out. Except for Patrick Peterson.

It's Closing Time...

Kaaya is next to UCLA and then Thomas to BAMA as they will both be making their final official visits to those schools this weekend.

Thanks Coach Golden. Hope you had a nice "visit" with your Penn. St. friends a few weeks ago. So what's the next step in the "process" ? Gonna flip some more 2-stars?

Charlie X

I didn't see any part of the Martin "interview"--but did he actually name Mike Pouncey as one of his tormenters on the record? Or did Barry just make a major Freudian slip?

Frustrated 'Cane

James Coley should be spending all that energy trying to secure all those top S. FL players that we're losing. Losing the top rated DT in our own backyard is unacceptable! Tired of holding up my Hurricane Club end up while the staff continues to fail.

Georgia Cane

Something doesn't smell right. Valantine not visiting UM? Oh no! Not $$$$ again. Memories of Alex Collins again. $ is not something UM can do right now. Teams have figured out how to get local kids out of here. Hopefully it will leak out. OKC 16 three's! It was their night!


Said it with coker and shannon.All the talent in the world wont fix dumb ineffective schemes. we got beat by horrible teams last year with far worse classes than us. IT WASNT THE NCAA "CLOUD"!MY GOD I HATE SHALALA! FIRE HIM AND GET CHUD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!#WASTINGTIME


Why doesn't this kid Valentine just announce he's going to LSU? What a punk playing these games.

Barry Jackson

Charlie X -- Correct, nobody mentioned Pouncey. It's Incognito. I went back and worded it differently.

Lifelong cane

It's Closing Time post is funny,so if Kaaya and Thomas honor there commitment as is expected do you go away ? So DA U loses a couple big time prospects a year,are they the only program that has that problem ? How many kids will flip to DA U Wednesday ? these kids are pulled and pulled all the time and many make the wrong choice as we all do in life,signing day will tell it all

Reality Bites

Martin is a wimp, good luck finding a team to sign you. Only Luck may be able to help you in that regard.

Valentine should just cut the crap and commit to LSU, everyone knows he is going there.
Chad Thomas will be meeting with Satan soon, ole Nick has a penchant for getting So Fla guys, be very concerned. Lose him and then lose Kaaya to UCLA and all of a sudden your top class doesn't look so good anymore.
A change is needed, why must Alverage be so stubborn. Love is stubborn I suppose.
Go Heat!

Not our rival

Posted by: Reality Bites | 01/30/2014 at 10:09 AM

Hush nerd, no one cares about your fake internet rivalry, UF doesn't play UM, no one cares about UF or what UF fans think about our program.



It's gotten old, I wish we'd not mention Valentine's name again until NSD.
Way too much ink for a guy who's only played small catholic high school football.
Sounds like a punk trying to get money, which he can get from an SEC school without the NCAA caring.

long time cane

Martin comes out in middle of pre super bowl week.Too funny.That guy is perfecting his drama with precision timing.Go away please.Just go away.Valentine should have just told Golden he was headed to LSU I agree.Losing Kaaya bothers me more actually.He seemed to be a great potential QB who had all the intangibles.Canes will get a couple surprises but I hope damage control is minimal.Johnson s not going to Alabama and glad Jackson wants to play for his hometown U also.I never blame the kids for choosing a particular school.The Coaches are in the position to recruit hard for the best players.South Florida is a hotbed for supreme HS athletes.Golden just needs to do a better job in the future.

Jak Manson

Some places have sports news, but have other news too. Sometimes you just want sports news and not others mixed in with it too. That is why there are sites that are made just to make sure that you get all the sports news that you want. It is important to get the news that you are wanting to know about.
Jak Manson | http://sportsmockery.com/chicago-sports-news/


Barry, this is not what we need to focus on, because the kid is under a lot of pressure. Please, give him space, and wait for his choice. I am interested in the coaching staff experience, because it appears that Golden has surrounded himself with a lot "so call" recruiters. I know his DC and DL coach have some experience, but what about the others?

Why? I do not see any of these coaches being requested/recruited or offered new positions by other programs. The story is not in the potential of a HS player, but the possible lack of coaching experience on staff. LSU has former TN (Chavis) as its DC. Golden has been a HC at two college, and how many of his assistant gone to other major programs? Just asking, because this is where I believe our issues are.

Reality Bites

The only reason Alverage gets top kids to stay home is location. Easy to get those kids who want to stay home since UM is the only choice ( sorry FIU). But once those kids take a look at a real college program with real coaches, real facilities, on campus stadium and real fan base he has no shot. So give poor Alverage a break, he is doing as best as he can.

How bout some ACC hoops, at 2 - 6 in the conference the poor sorry canes are right where they should be. It will be a struggle to get consideration for the NIT, won't even be a "bubble" team. Talk about going from the penthouse(if you can call it that) to the outhouse in one year. Is the BUC gonna be sold out for Boston College? No? How about Wake? Didn't think so.
Back to normal for cane BB.

Not our rival

Posted by: Reality Bites | 01/30/2014 at 12:47 PM

Hush nerd, no one cares about your fake internet rivalry. UF doesn't play UM anymore, go find a chat room if you want to troll people.

Coastal Cane

Well, one more kid off the "experts of the comment posting" list of decommits. Kaaya Tweets about his commitment to UM and will sign papers on Signing Day..take your damn inside sources and leave the page now...


Warren Sapp can give a lot of opinions and advise on how to blow through 80 million dollars and be broke by age 40.
If Warren says something is a certain way, it's probably the total opposite.

If he had been here when Shapiro was doing his magic we would have gotten the death penalty.
We would have had to call the Coast Guard to get his fat ass off the midget's boat.


This is dedicates to someone whose Reality Bites:
Brad Kaaya @TrinidadBrad

I will be signing the National Letter of Intent issued to me by the University of Miami on National Signing Day February 5th
11:58 AM - 30 Jan 2014


Warren Sapp can give a lot of opinions and advise on how to blow through 80 million dollars and be broke by age 40.
If Warren says something is a certain way, it's probably the total opposite.

If he had been here when Shapiro was doing his magic we would have gotten the death penalty.
We would have had to call the Coast Guard to get his fat ass off the midget's boat.

Posted by: Marios | 01/30/2014 at 02:42 PM

I am not sure of Warren's financial situation, but you do know filing bankruptcy doesn't always = broke! Hell, Donald Trump filed twice!


He doesn't have the grades to get into UM. Just like many others who have ended up at LSU that were Miami commits in the past.


Not impressed with this recruiting class. More 4-5 loss seasons to come.


I agree with Marios about Valentine. Enough of him already. Let him go, who cares. He won't even start at LSU with the talent they have there. Let LSU pay him, who cares. Concentrate on the kids who want to be here. It will all work out. Have faith.

Valentine, commit already or shut up.


So you are only impressed if the class finished in the top 3? It's a top 10 class! Damn, so folks are never happy.. lol

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